Panama's growth diagnostics
"In this context, the objective of the paper is to propose a set of recommendations on whatneeds to be done in order to assure success of the current growth strategy. We have nodoubts on the value of strengthening Panama´s geographical comparative advantage withthe Canal´s expansion. The key question is to identify the additional steps which could promote growth in the non-canal economy. In addition to making growth more sustainable,growth acceleration in the traditional sectors can result in a reduction of inequality, whichis extremely high in Panama.To answer these questions the paper proceeds in the following way. Section 2 discussessome key features of Panama´s economic structure that are important for the analysis.Section 3 analyzes Panama´s growth using conventional techniques. In particular, we lookat the role of the `fundamental´ determinants of growth, such as institutions, geography,and human capital. Also, the time series analysis shows that growth has experiencedreversals while a standard sources-of-growth decomposition suggests that Panama has asevere productivity problem. Sections 4 to 8 deal with the GDM. Section 4 presents somegeneral evidence from the Investment Climate Survey (ICS) on the main concerns ofPanama´s entrepreneurs. Section 5 discusses all the problems that could imply low socialreturns to investment. Section 6 analyzes the issues related to problems of appropriability.Section 7 introduces the problems of self-discovery, and Section 8 looks at financingissues. Section 9 concludes"
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